Tag Archives: Bulletin

Virtual Bulletin – 9/13

September 13, 2020 – 15th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – Sept 13, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I commented in past weeks that the second half of all of Paul’s letters often have a different tone.  The sweeping theologian is gone and the congregational pastor has arrived.  It is often assumed that Paul was responding to letters from the congregations and specific instances in the lives of those congregations.  Like Romans 13 discussing how to live in the now and not yet with Caesar, Romans 14 addresses “what if your problem is not with those outside the church, but those inside?”

The arguments with those inside are often the mirror image of those outside.  “You Christians have strange practices” might be the statement of those outside of Christ.  That is certainly what the Greeks and Romans thought.  But inside the church our arguments are usually over if our practices go far enough – “you are giving in to the world when you don’t do x.” Backing up into Romans 13, Paul starts off with a solid demarcation.  “Loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law.”  The law, while not having the power to make us keep it, is a picture of what love for the neighbor looks like.  “Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Those preferring to continue openly in darkness, contrary to the moral law, are outside of Christ.

But what about those who think a strict fasting regime is necessary on certain days?  Or you can fill in your favorite piety practice.  Paul brings up eating only vegetables and Holy Days.  Special diets and holy days, like most piety practices have solid things to commend them, and they become deeply meaningful to people who practice them.  But Paul’s advice here is “don’t quarrel over opinions…why pass judgment upon your brother?…each of us will give an account of himself to God.”  These don’t have the force of the moral law.

But Paul isn’t a modern Libertarian either.  While counseling extending grace to the brother you might think is deficient in piety, he then asks us to examine our own practices in the light of our brothers and sisters.  Is something I am doing causing them to stumble?  Or maybe more for us, is something I am not doing causing my brother to stumble?  Notice that Paul is not talking about the basic moral law which is often how this passage is weaponized.  “If you were a real Christian you would let me continue to walk in darkness.”  Paul says to that “do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.” But, “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”  If we find ourselves quarreling over practices, find what we can affirm, why it might be a meaningful practice, and acknowledge that, maybe even adopt part of it for the sake of the brother.

The way of the cross is hard enough.  May we learn to build each other up and live at peace without losing the saving way.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Sept 14th – September 20th

Mon. – Fri. ………….…  8:00am     Preschool

Monday: …………………  6:30pm    Women’s Group on Zoom

Wednesday: ……………  7:30pm    Church Council Meeting

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                           11:15am    Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Continuing on Pestilence in the Bible – Numbers 16 (Korah’s Rebellion).
  • Confirmation: Confirmation 2 will continue, hopefully starting this week, maybe next depending upon first week school experiences.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 23rd at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I’m going to hold a study at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary, starting next week.  I’ll also have this on the zoom line.
  • Catechism Moment: We are continuing to our walk through the catechism in your inbox. Currently on the Lord’s Prayer

GROUNDKEEPING

It is still mowing season.  Thank you and please remember to do your part. 

A BIG THANK YOU to the Women’s Group for purchasing the Mums planted in front of our sign and to Mindy for weeding the garden bed around the sign and planting the Mums.

MEN’S CLUB will NOT be meeting this month.

WOMEN’S GROUP is meeting via ZOOM on Monday, September 14th at 6:30pm.  Note, this is the 2nd Monday, not the 3rd Monday as is our tradition.

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

Virtual Bulletin – 9/6/20

September 6, 2020 – 14th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – Sept 6, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

It is funny how certain passages of the bible are taken to be “hard sayings” in one age and then in the next are just common wisdom while others become hard.  Romans 13 is one of those that I think is becoming a hard saying.  By the way Peter says the same thing in 1 Peter 2.  And if you want the Jesus reference, look at John 19:11.  What they all say is be subject to the governing authorities because God placed them there.  As many of us drift further apart politically, it has become harder for many to be subject.  But we should remember the names that were in place while Paul and Peter and Jesus were around: Pilate, Caligula and Nero.  Those are not Washington and Jefferson.

In general Paul – a Roman citizen – seems to have a more sanguine approach to Roman rule.  It is Jesus before Pilate and Peter’s passage that recognize that a ruler with legitimate authority can also be committing great sin.  And it is those two who acknowledge that it might be the duty of the Christian to do the right thing and have the ruler punish them for it.  “If you do good and suffer for it, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”  Paul might address it just before Romans 13 when he reminds us “live peaceably with all, but never avenge yourselves…vengeance is mine says the Lord.” The tricky thing in these circumstances is to determine just what is the good?  John Brown thought Harpers Ferry was the good.  And abolition of slavery was definitely a good, but was it his call to seize the arms to do so?  More modern, is killing an abortion doctor the good?  Abortion is an evil and ending it would be good.  But is that our call in that way?  If you are going to be doing “the good” instead of honoring the ruler, it probably looks a lot more like Jesus and Peter and Paul.  All who argued and preached and reproached, but who were killed by the state without violence on their part.  When you pick up the stone, you better be sure you are the clean one to throw it, if you do not have governmental authority vested.

This is one of the reasons we pray weekly for those in offices that they might use their office for the good of the people.  So that we might be able to lead quiet lives with integrity.  Being “the man” is not quite as easy as we think.  And “the man” will be held accountable by God for how he or she used their authority.  We pray that we aren’t put into that position of determining “the good”, because we see poorly.  We pray for the wisdom to see the good for those who are granted authority.  But we also pray for the courage to walk the way of the cross should that quiet life not be ours.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Sept 7th – September 13th

Mon. – Fri. ………….…  8:00am     Preschool

Wednesday: ……………  7:00pm     LAF

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………… 10:00am    Worship

                                        11:15am     Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We will be looking at “pestilence” in the bible (Numbers 11:31-35, 16:1-50, 2 Samuel 24:1-25)
  • Confirmation:  2nd year class will be starting up mid-September after we figure out school. I’ll be in touch.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: This may or may not fly, but I’m moving this Study to 11:15 (after service) and we will hold it in the Sanctuary for now.  It will also be on the zoom line.  I honestly don’t know how this will work, but we are going to try.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope these email delivered short catechism refreshers are encouraging and timely.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

Virtual Bulletin – 8/30

August 30, 2020 – 13th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – August 30, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I’d dare you to give Paul’s letters a close read.  There is a rough structure to all of them.  There are more complicated outlines that a classical schooled kid could point you at.  But the simplest division tends to be first “theological argument” and second “how we live based on that argument”. Which is why every commentator and most pastors love the first half of Paul’s letters, but by the time you get to the second half have lost interest.  That goes double for modern Lutherans because they tend to hear that as gospel and then law, and modern Lutherans tend to doubt the role of the law in the life of the believer.

We’ve been reading through the letter to the Roman on Sundays and chapter 12 – began last week and continued this week is the start of that second section.  Paul’s theological argument is that the Sovereign God has claimed you in Jesus Christ.  Everybody, including Israel, has died to sin, and through the proclamation of Christ everyone through faith is offered life and salvation.  That life and salvation make specific claims on us now, because they begin now.  The fullness of that life and salvation has not yet been revealed to everyone, but they are present in the life of faith.  Which is why Paul starts chapter 12 appealing to believers to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice.  This temporary life has a purpose, to witness to the one who gave us eternal life and salvation freely.

What does that look like?  Last week Paul introduced the corporate aspect of it.  “We are all one body in Christ, individually members of one another.”  And are various gifts that we have been given are for the corporate good of that body of Christ.  If you deny your gifts to the body you not only harm the body but you harm yourself bring into question you life and salvation.  Do you cut off your left hand because it itches or isn’t as useful as the right?  No!  Then why do you absent yourself from the body of Christ?  Why do you deny your brothers and sisters their hand?  We should be aware of how we treat fellow believers.

But the body of Christ also resides in the midst of the world.  What does being a living sacrifice in the midst of the world look like?  Paul starts out with a list of exhorations: “let love be genuine..abhor evil, hold onto good…show honor…do not be slothful in zeal”. But he then transitions to the big one: “Bless those who persecute you.” I take this as the Pauline echo of “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”  Blessing your enemies is not of this world.  The act itself gives witness to something outside this world.  And it is an act of faith that the God who made everything is sovereign and will repay.  Paul quotes Deuteronomy “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, say the Lord.”  But the goal is not that we would that revenge – as Jonah wished upon Nineveh.  The goal is to overcome evil.  “Overcome evil with good.”  “Rejoice, you have gained your brother.”

How do we the church, the body of Christ, bless those who persecute us?  I can think of several ways, but that is the homework for you, what ways do you recognize?  May we “as far as it depends upon us live peaceable lives with all.”

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Aug 31st – September 6th

Tuesday: ………………  7:30pm     Board of Elders Meeting

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

                                            1:00pm    Stollery internment at Maplewood Cemetery

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Not meeting 9/3, will meet 9/10 – the OT on intentional plague, all invited
  • Confirmation:  Will return in the fall – September, I’ll be in touch personally to sort out.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I’m looking at something a little different.  I ask for your patience here.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope these email delivered short catechism refreshers are encouraging and timely.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

PRESCHOOL UPDATE …  Preschool begins on Thursday, September 3rd

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated

Virtual Bulletin – 8/23

August 23, 2020 – 12th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – August 23, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Flowers next to the Altar were placed by Karen & Nathan Groff and family in honor of Dee Dee and Wayne Warriner’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Whether it is in sports or in life we are so used to everything having a measurement.  Scoreboard is the taunt.  Look at the bottom line.  And these things are typically put up in bright bold letters.  Every week our contributions (and usually attendance, when we were all together, sigh).  Permanently on the screen, the score stood four to two that day with but an inning left to play.  And even more than in Casey’s day as we have the strikes, balls and MPHs shown.  Coaching little league gives you a different view.  Yes, we keep score, but the score isn’t usually known.  The scorekeeper is the only person who knows.  And yes, the umpire can often forget the count himself.  I’ve had players strike out on two strikes and walk on 6 balls.  I’m sure I’ve had the 3 ball walk, I just don’t remember those.  The kids will occasionally ask “what’s the score”, but less than you might think.  And I don’t always tell them exactly.  Sometimes I just say “close, let’s get a 1-2-3 inning”, or “we need some runs.”  The score is important, but the score, even in a little league game is already determined by how you and your teammates are going to play.  Concentrating on the score won’t change it.  Hitting this next pitch might.  Go try.

The Christian life is more like that little league experience than the adult world of constant measurement.  The final outcome is known.  Christ has won.  Satan is defeated.  The Saints shout triumphantly.  “My salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”  But how we play the game is still important. “Look to the Rock from which you were hewn.”  “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  We are engaged in a struggle, a contest.  And we are engaged against an enemy that is desperate and seeking to score as much as he can.  And if all you look at as the game is this world, he might even win.  Our Lord himself was crucified.  But this world is only the first and second inning.  He is risen, and we too shall rise to victory.

So go try. “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.  If prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving…”.  The joy, the worship, is in the use, is in the playing.  May we find that joy.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Aug 24th – August 30th

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Recap and finish Malachi this week – we mean it this time.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Confirmation:  Will return in the fall – September, I’ll be in touch personally to sort out.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I’m looking at something a little different.  I ask for your patience here.
  • Catechism Moment: Our reading of the Lord’s Prayer continues.  If you aren’t getting these in your email box, it is because I don’t have your email.  Or you have me going to spam.  Easy to take care of

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

PRESCHOOL UPDATE …  Preschool begins on Thursday, September 3rd

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we again be working wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

LEADERSHIP BOARDS SUMMER BREAK

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting.

BOOKS

Do you know of a Free Little Library?  If so, we have books available for you to take and donate to one or more of your favorites.  The books are in the coat closet on the table next to the full-length mirror.  Please help us get the books out to the community

Virtual Bulletin – 8/9

August 9, 2020 – 10th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – August 9, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

The miracles, evidenced by Thomas Jefferson’s bible, are the first things people cut out of the bible. “I’ve never seen one, so they couldn’t have happened.” That is straight up denial which oddly I can respect if not agree with.  There is a second way of dealing with miracles that I can understand, categorizing them as coincidence or black swans or low probability events.  That doesn’t deny that something happened, it just denies the implied cause – the power of God.  The approach I can’t respect unfortunately was the most common in my youth. On one side of the aisle would be those that denied a miracle’s reality but attempted to affirm its meaning.  “It’s a spiritual story.”  The other side would contend that “no, they happened, it is just that there is a naturalistic way to explain it.” It is the opposite of the spiritualizer – “It is so real, that we can explain it away like any magicians trick.” The sad part is that these folks usually thought they were defending the scriptures while draining away the purpose the miracles were performed and written for.

That purpose was to reveal God.  If we look at the miracles of Jesus there are a variety of ways to categorize them. My rough categorization is:

  1. Healings – which usually pointed to Jesus’ compassion
  2. Exorcisms – Jesus’ spiritual reign
  3. Provision – The common grace invitation to see the Love of God
  4. Epiphanies – These are the raw works of power.  Jesus is Lord, over everything.

But here is the really hard thing, the miracles aren’t self-interpreting.  That is a running theme in the gospel of John.  Seeing is not believing.  John 6:26, 10:38, 12:37, 14:11 all have some form of Jesus urging those who have seen the miracles to accept his authoritative interpretation of them – “The Father is in Me”. The hardest part about the true “end times” for me centers around the ideas of Rev 13:13 or Matthew 24:24-25 that there will be those performing such signs and wonders but falsely.  Satan is always a copycat.  He never did anything original.  Just perverted the goodness of God’s creation.  The discernment is if they “preach another gospel”, for if even an angel were to appear preaching another, we should not believe them (Gal 1:8).

So while the “powers and principalities” might be able to perform healings, although their purpose would not be compassion; they could provide, although it would not be from grace; they might even perform an exorcism just to spite Jesus’ logic (Matthew 12:25-26), their epiphanies will always be wrong because the Father is not in them. The one who laid the foundations of the earth, who the gates of death have not only been revealed to but have been thrown open by, the alpha and the omega has already come to us and abides with us.  May we accept his testimony

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Aug 10th – August 16th

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                                      10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Reading Malachi and so finishing the book of the short prophets.  Live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Confirmation:  Will return in the fall – September
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Preliminary, it looks like we will meet on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I will have some further info in this next week.
  • Catechism Moment: We’re back baby! Hopefully you got the start of the Lord’s Prayer

Savers Delivery

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Preschool Rummage Sale/Savers collection.  The Rummage Sale and subsequent on-line sales netted approximately $500 for the Preschool.  Our Savers collection will bring in approximately $200 which will be used, in part, to replace the rotting landscape timbers surrounding the climbing equipment in the Preschool play-yard.  Unfortunately, this project will have to wait until spring when landscape timbers are again available.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

BOOKS

Do you know of a Free Little Library?  If so, we have books available for you to take and donate to one or more of your favorites.  The books are in the coat closet on the table next to the full-length mirror.  Please help us get the books out to the community.

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

WOMEN’S GROUP … is NOT meeting in August.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Virtual Bulletin – 8/2

9th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – August 2, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Maybe you don’t feel this, but it is a constant sense that I have – time telescoping.  Some months fly by you wonder where they have gone.  At other times a day or even an hour seems endless.  The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life I think are something like that.  The standard length of time for Jesus’ ministry is roughly 3.5 years, from his baptism until Holy Week.  On the one hand 3.5 years can disappear in a blink.  And reading the Gospels, especially Mark, you can get the impression that it was a 3.5 year madcap adventure without stop.  But that just isn’t reality.  That isn’t how we absorb time or move through it.  There had to be down days.  Or days that felt like a repetition.  Or days that they just tuned out and walked the road.

The Gospel of Matthew captures that in an interesting way.  The ministry of Jesus was itinerant which is just a fancy way of saying it moved.  And the rhythm of that ministry I imagine was a week to week thing.  Jesus would stop at a village, preach, perform miracles and move on to the next village.  On the Sabbath he’d show up at the main Synagogue of the area.  He’d probably be preaching the same “sermon” for most of that week.  Tweaking it here and there.  It would be new for most of the crowds, but already heard for the disciples and the parts of the crowds that were following.  Matthew in my reconstruction captures that rhythm by presenting Jesus’ sermon – say the sermon on the mount, the first main one – and then some of the activity that happened while Jesus was preaching that sermon in village after village.  So you get a recount of various healings, miracles and private confrontations.  When that cycle has played out, Matthew presents the next sermon.

We’ve just completed the Parable Sermon which is the third of five.  And for the next few weeks we are reading the miracles and events that are associated with that.  If my reconstruction is right, we are roughly around year 2.  Probably just before the middle to just after the middle.  And all theology is really learned in the living.  What is the experience of the Reign of Heaven like in the middle of time, in the middle of this world?  You still lose friends.  John the Baptist is killed is the first happening.  But the Lord still provides abundantly: feeding 5000, healing those of Gennesaret (which has an interest parallel of casting the legion into the swine), all the while confronting traditions (cue Tevye) some of which are maintained in the Reign and others which are cast away as the “leaven of the Pharisees”.  We will be reading some of that over the coming weeks.

The pondering and the prayer here are what is the Reign of Heaven like for you in the midst of Coronatide?  How is Jesus asking us to trust His providence?  What traditions have we carried until now that maybe should change?  What be reaffirmed?  What mourning do we have to do that has been put off?  In the middle of our days, may we not be lost, but find the way of the Reign that leads through.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Aug 3rd – August 9th

Tuesday: ………………   8:00am    Carpet Cleaning

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We finished Zechariah.  We will be starting Malachi and so finishing the book of the short prophets.  Live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Confirmation:  Will return in the fall – September
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Preliminary, it looks like we will meet on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I will have some further info in this next week.
  • Catechism Moment: Ok, I promise.  My “summer break” is over.  This is back next week.

Savers Delivery

Thank you to Sylvia Bayer for helping to load, Dee Dee and Wayne Warriner, Jerry Gardner, Ellen and Mindy for delivering our haul to Savers.

THANK YOU

To Wayne Warriner who heroically tackled the thistle grove that was threatening to take over the ivy patch on the hill next to our back steps.  Your efforts are appreciated!

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Virtual Bulletin – 7/26

July 26, 2020 – 8th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – July 26th, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Deuteronomy 7:9 is one of the great revelations of the Bible.  “Know that Yahweh (the revealed name of the entity encountered in the fire-y and cloudy pillar and the signs and wonders of the Exodus) your God is THE God.”  There is no other and you have encountered Him.  But just who or what is this entity?  I’m a Sci-Fi fan, and in this weird spring and summer the comedy relief has been the trickle of news about UFO’s.  My guess is that I could offend more people by stating an opinion about aliens than preaching heresy.  But my joke about the UFO’s is that the mere existence of aliens doesn’t really matter.  What matters is what kind of aliens they are.  Are they Independence Day destroyers of worlds?  Goa’uld parasite enslavers? Or Asgardian protectors?   It is nice knowing you have met THE God, but what kind of God is He?

“The God, the reliable one.”  What is he reliable about?  “The one who keeps the covenant”.  This God is reliable about the covenant.  What covenant is this? “The one of steadfast love to his loved ones”.   This is the basis of the covenant.  God loved them.  God loved us.  He sought us out.  He is a God who chooses.  And He has chosen this people as his treasured possession.  Not for anything worthy in us, but because of who He is and his promise.  The only rock in all creation.  And he has chosen you.  “And to the ones who keep His commands to a thousand generations.”  It is tacked on there.  It is not a quid pro quo or anything like that.  It is more the rules of the house.  The steadfast love of the covenant has come to you.  You have been redeemed from the house of slavery.  Do you want to live like a prince, or go back to slavery?  This is how the house of the King, your house, operates.

That is what I mean about a great revelation.  Ancient Israel had to take that on faith.  God took them out of Egypt, but would he stick with them?  He said he would – to a thousand generations.  We live on the far side of that. In the story of Israel we can see that Yahweh is a God of steadfast love.  He is the reliable one.  Whatever we need, ask.  Ask and it will be given.  His steadfast love rests on you in Christ.  Ask Him.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  July 27th – August 2nd

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Summer Camp (Preschool)

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Friday: ………………..  10:00am    delivery to Savers in Webster

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

THANK YOU

To Wayne Warriner who heroically tackled the thistle grove that was threatening to take over the ivy patch on the hill next to our back steps.  Your efforts are appreciated!

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 12, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: Sorry for missing a couple of weeks. I took some days off to install some flooring (thanks Abel!).

SAVERS DELIVERY … July 31st

LAST CHANCE to bring in your donations of clothes (accessories and shoes) and household fabrics.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Virtual Bulletin – 7/19/20

July 19, 2020 – 7th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – July 19th, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I’ve got a social media friend who runs a mildly popular joke account – “Atheist Memes but Unironically”.  He follows a bunch of hyper-atheist type accounts who are always posting memes which they think are witty and show the complete failure of the faith.  Showing that the cross is still a scandal, it usually takes center stage.  They find the goriest crucifix or painting – think Grunewald – and slap on a line like “imagine thinking this is God.” My friend retweets it out under “Atheism Memes but Unironically” whose avatar is the three headed “Yes”.  

The hornet’s nest it stirs up is funny.  It is like the bat-signal to atheists to dogpile all the while he says nothing.

The cross is the most popular, but the second most common derives from it.  They usually get some sappy picture of Jesus talking to a little girl.  It is rarely little boys for some strange reason.  And the line is usually something about “You’ll see eventually that the [accident that killed your parents/dread disease/other seemingly non-sensical suffering] was for your good.”  Hyper-Atheists really don’t like suffering of any type, be it the cross or something more common.  Just the fact of it is the proof of God’s ridiculousness. 

Yet the apostle Paul – no stranger to suffering – writes, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us…for the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope, that creation itself will be set free from its bonding to decay…”.  Paul and the atheists agree that suffering is non-sensical.  We were not made for this.  But where the atheists blame God, yes they blame the person they hold does not exist, the apostle first blames ourselves.  Our sin has brought us and all creation to this point.  The God we should be afraid of is the one who didn’t care, who just let his creation burn.  But the God we have redeemed even the suffering.  He took even the suffering into God. God suffered, and thereby gave us hope.  We suffer a little while, but we hope, “we wait for it with patience”, “all creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” We have been joined to Christ in baptism.  We share the cross, so that we will also share the crown.  And the apostle says the two aren’t comparable.  May our hope rest on this rock, I know of no other.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  July 20th – July 26th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Summer Camp (Preschool)

Monday: ……………….. 6:00pm    Women’s Group Mtg at St. Mark/Zoom

                                           6:00pm     Men’s Club Mtg at Gardner Residence

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: : We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 10, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: Sorry I missed a week.  I took a day off this past week and this fell out of the schedule.  Lord’s Prayer stating next Wednesday. 

SAVERS DELIVERY … July 31st

Savers delivery is scheduled for Friday, July 31st at 10am in Webster.  Please contact Mindy or Ellen if you have a large vehicle and are available to drive a load of stuff to Webster.  (Of course, afterwards you are free to ‘Second-hand shop.”)  We are also still accepting donations of clothes (accessories and shoes) and household fabrics.

WOMEN’S GROUP MEETING … July 20th

Several women have expressed an interest in having an in-person meeting, so, with this in mind we will be having a meeting at church on Monday, July 20th for those wishing to join us in person.  Supper will be served at 6pm with social distancing being practiced.  The meeting will commence at 6:30 on Zoom for those who prefer to not to attend in person.  Please contact Mindy if you plan to attend the dinner so we can plan accordingly.

MEN’S CLUB MEETING … July 20th

Jerry Gardner is hosting the Men’s Club at his home on Monday, July 20th at the usual time of 6pm.  The sign-up is posted on the bulletin board or you may call Jerry if you would like to attend.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Virtual Bulletin – 7/12

July 12, 2020 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – July 12th, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Part of the package of building our house was one tree in the front yard.  Ours got planted and for a year or two seemed okay, but it never seemed to grow.  And then it started simply to die. It leafed late and shed early.  Then all the branches on one side died.  I cut them off and pitched them and fed around it, hoping that maybe it would figure out ways around.  Meanwhile most of the neighbor’s tress were flourishing.  Finally, as I stared at the pathetic blighted and mangled tree in my front yard, I decided it was time.  We dug it out, cut it up and sent it on its way.  We replaced it with a cherry tree that promises pink flowers in the spring and bright orange leaves in the fall.  No word about the cherries which I assume will be for the birds.

How much of life feels like that poor first tree?  Why did this one fail to thrive while all the others were fine?  Why did everything done to help it do nothing?  Why did it take ten years to do something?  In some ways that is a good metaphor for our life with sin.  We are planted sick.  And all the goodness of the earth can’t change our direction. And our wills are completely tapped.  Why bother if the ground is so bad?  But Isaiah urges another view.  God’s Word goes out and it accomplishes what it intends, it succeeds for what it was sent.  And the Word of God certainly goes out to proclaim the wages of sin which are death.  But the Word of God also goes out  “giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.”  It goes out to change the ground “making it bring forth and sprout…Instead of thorn shall come up the cypress, instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle…it shall make an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

I pray that my little cherry tree will thrive where the prior ground proved unfruitful, that it may not be cut off.  Likewise we pray for the Lord to send the rain and snow of the Word that changes hearts.  “That we might go out in joy and be led forth in peace…and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  July 13th – July 19th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Summer Camp (Preschool)

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: : We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 9, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: We finished the Creed this past week.  We will be moving on the the Lord’s Prayer.  It is slow work, but I am also moving over prior “Catechism Moment” emails to the church website.  It takes about a year to pray through the catechism weekly.  Eventually I hope to have a current (within the last year) gloss on the entire catechism that we will be updated on that rolling basis.  If you missed an email, or just lost it in the all the rest, it will be on the church website as well. 

SAVERS DELIVERY … July 31st

Savers delivery is scheduled for Friday, July 31st at 10am in Webster.  Please contact Mindy or Ellen if you have a large vehicle and are available to drive a load of stuff to Webster.  (Of course, afterwards you are free to ‘Second-hand shop”)  We are also still accepting donations of clothes (accessories and shoes) and household fabrics.

WOMEN’S GROUP MEETING … July 20th

Several women have expressed an interest in having an in-person meeting, so, with this in mind we will be having a meeting at church on Monday, July 20th for those wishing to join us in person.  Supper will be served at 6pm with social distancing being practiced.  The meeting will commence at 6:30 on Zoom for those who prefer to not to attend in person.  Please contact Mindy if you plan to attend the dinner so we can plan accordingly.

MEN’S CLUB MEETING … July 20th

Jerry Gardner is hosting the Men’s Club at his home on Monday, July 20th at the usual time of 6pm.  The sign-up is posted on the bulletin board or you may call Jerry if you would like to attend.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Bulletin Note

This goes out to everybody’s email that I have. That email version also contains birthdays, anniversaries, contact info, financial stuff, etc – anything that might contain personal info. I cut out all that stuff for the web version. So, if you want all that stuff, and you aren’t getting it right now, contact me or Mindy and we will make sure your email is on the list.

Virtual Bulletin – 6/28

June 28, 2020 – 4th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – June 28, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

“The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike”.  That is grace is action.  Strictly speaking no one is just, no not one.  So the Loving Father who continues to sustain our existence is giving us good things which we in no way deserve.  Grace.  But I was contemplating the opposite of that recently. While reading along in Romans.  What happens when the Lord’s wrath is expressed?  You know, when war, famine, plague and death ride the land? God’s grace is often expressed in overlooking the many for the sake of the few, for example remember Abraham’s pleading for Sodom.  More often God’s grace is expressed in a remnant.  Eight souls saved through the flood on the Ark.  7000 have not bowed the knee to Baal which Paul quotes from Elijah.  But those 8 souls and those 7000 experienced the calamity right along with everyone else.  Jeremiah went into exile when Jerusalem fell.  In this world, being a Christian is not a get out of trouble free card.

When we talk about fairness the ultimate fairness in this world is that everyone dies.  We have all sinned and fallen short and so labor under the same burden.  The Christian Hope is not in this world.  It does not come from princes, or laws or regulations or money or fairness.  The Christian Hope is the coming Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That does not mean we cannot seek address of grievances.  We can by orderly lawful means.  That does not mean we give up working here.  We don’t because the Lord has given us a task to live as residents of the Kingdom now.  But it does mean that we can never lose sight of the true Hope.  It is not fairness or justice here, it is eternal grace.   This world is both the good creation of our Loving Father and yet a veil of tears.  The wheat and the weeds grow together.  But the Reign of God is near.  When you aim for the kingdom, God often throws in the world although not always.  When you aim for the world, you get nothing. Lord increase and multiply upon us thy mercy, that you being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  June 29th – July 5th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     NO Preschool

Thursday: …………….. 10:00am     Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: : We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 6, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope you are all receiving these and find them meaningful or at least a good prod to the memory. 

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.